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How long does permanent dental cement last?

How long does permanent dental cement last?

Permanent dental cement is a common material used by dentists to bond dental restorations, such as crowns or bridges, to natural teeth. However, many patients wonder how long this cement will last before it needs to be replaced. While there is no definitive answer to this question, several factors can influence the lifespan of permanent dental cement. This discussion explores some of these factors and helps you understand what you can expect from this important dental material.

What is permanent dental cement?

Permanent dental cement is an adhesive material that bonds or attaches dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and veneers to the natural teeth. It is also commonly used in prosthodontics to secure implants and dentures in place. The main purpose of permanent 3m dental cement is to provide a strong and durable hold that can withstand the daily wear and tear of chewing and speaking. In addition to its bonding properties, dental cement also serves as a protective barrier, sealing out bacteria and other harmful substances from the vulnerable areas of the tooth underneath the restoration. Dental cement comes in various types, including resin-based, glass-ionomer, and zinc oxide-eugenol, with unique properties and indications for use. Overall, permanent dental cement ensures the longevity and stability of dental restorations and prostheses, helping patients maintain optimal oral health and function.

Types of permanent dental cement

Several types of permanent dental cement are available, each with unique properties and recommended uses. These include:

Resin-based cement: This is the most commonly used type of permanent relyx dental cement and is ideal for bonding all-ceramic or porcelain restorations to natural teeth. They provide a strong bond and excellent aesthetic results but require careful handling and proper curing to achieve optimal strength and durability.

Glass ionomer cement: This cement is based on a combination of glass particles and acrylic acid and is known for its biocompatibility and ability to release fluoride. They are often used for cementing metal or resin-based restorations and filling small cavities in primary teeth.

Zinc phosphate cement: This cement has been widely used for many decades and is based on a mixture of zinc oxide powder and phosphoric acid liquid. They are known for their high compressive strength and thermal insulation, making them suitable for long-span bridge work and other large restorations.

Polycarboxylate cement: This cement is based on a mixture of polyacrylic acid and zinc oxide powder and is known for its good adhesion and biocompatibility. They are commonly used for cementing metallic and ceramic restorations, as well as for luting orthodontic bands.

Resin-modified glass ionomer cement: These cement combine the benefits of resin-based and glass ionomer cement, providing improved adhesion and strength compared to traditional glass ionomers alone. They are often used for bonding porcelain or ceramic restorations to teeth and filling cavities in both primary and permanent teeth.

Factors Affecting the Longevity of Permanent Dental Cement

Several factors can influence the longevity of permanent dental cement. Here are the main factors that can affect its longevity:

  • Oral hygiene practices
  • Eating habits and diet
  • Grinding and clenching of teeth (bruxism)
  • Presence of underlying dental conditions
  • Restoration type and location
  • Quality of cement used

Oral hygiene practices: Good oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining the longevity of dental cement. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash can help remove plaque and bacteria that can weaken the cement over time. Neglecting oral hygiene can lead to the accumulation of plaque, which may result in the breakdown of the 3m dental adhesive and subsequent loss of restoration.

Eating habits and diet: Certain eating habits and dietary factors can impact the longevity of dental cement. Consuming hard or sticky foods, excessively chewing on hard objects, or biting into non-food items can place excessive stress on dental restorations, potentially causing the cement to weaken or break. Acidic foods and beverages can also erode the cement and weaken the bond between the restoration and the tooth structure.

Grinding and clenching of teeth (bruxism): Bruxism, the habitual grinding or clenching of teeth, can significantly impact the longevity of dental cement. The excessive forces generated during bruxism can cause the cement to wear down, chip, or even dislodge the restoration. Using a nightguard or splint can help protect dental restorations and minimize the impact of grinding and clenching in individuals with bruxism.

Presence of underlying dental conditions: Certain dental conditions, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth fractures, can affect the longevity of dental cement. These conditions can weaken the tooth structure or compromise the integrity of the cement, leading to a higher risk of restoration failure. It is important to address any underlying dental issues before placing permanent dental cement to maximize longevity.

Restoration type and location: The type and location of the dental restoration can influence the longevity of the cement. Restorations subjected to greater chewing forces, such as crowns on molars, may require stronger and more durable cement to withstand the stress.

Quality of cement used: The quality and type of dental cement can significantly impact its longevity. Various types of dental cement are available, including resin cement, glass ionomer cement, and zinc oxide eugenol cement, each with different properties and strengths. Selecting an appropriate cement based on the specific restoration and clinical requirements is crucial for long-term success.

Average Lifespan of Permanent Dental Cement

Permanent dental cement is a critical component in many dental restorations and is designed to provide long-lasting adhesion between the restoration and the natural tooth structure. The general lifespan of permanent dental cement can vary depending on several factors, including the type of scotchbond universal adhesive used, the condition of the natural tooth structure, the patient's oral hygiene habits, and other environmental factors.

The expected lifespan of permanent dental cement for different types of dental restorations can vary as well:

Crowns and bridges: The average lifespan of dental cement used for crowns and bridges can range from 10-20 years, depending on the type of cement used and the quality of the restoration.

Inlays and onlays: Inlays and onlays are typically bonded to the tooth using composite resin cement, which has an average lifespan of 5-7 years. However, proper care and maintenance can last up to 15 years or more.

Veneers: Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin bonded to the teeth' front surface. The average lifespan of the permanent cement used for veneers ranges from 10-15 years, depending on the type of cement and the quality of the veneer.

Implant-supported restorations: The lifespan of dental cement used in implant-supported restorations can vary depending on the type of cement used and the implant's condition. Generally, the cement used for this type of restoration is designed to be long-lasting, with an average lifespan of 10-15 years.

It's important to note that the lifespan of permanent dental cement can vary based on the individual patient's oral health and habits. Regular dental checkups and proper at-home oral hygiene practices can help extend the lifespan of dental restorations and the cement used to bond them to the natural tooth structure.

Signs of Dental Cement Failure

Dental cement places dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and veneers. However, dental adhesive failure can occur for various reasons, such as poor bonding, wear and tear, or decay. Common symptoms of dental cement failure include sensitivity to hot and cold foods, pain while chewing, a loose or wobbly restoration, and even the restoration falling out completely.

Failed dental cement can lead to serious risks such as infection, damage to surrounding teeth, and tooth loss. If left untreated, bacteria can accumulate under the failed restoration, leading to decay and disease. The damage can also extend to the neighboring teeth, resulting in further complications.

Regular dental checkups and maintenance are essential to prevent dental cement failure and its associated risks. During routine dental visits, the dentist can identify early signs of cement failure and take appropriate measures to prevent further damage. Moreover, regular cleanings and exams help maintain good oral hygiene and address any underlying dental issues before they become severe. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize regular dental checkups to ensure long-term dental health.

Improving the Longevity of Dental Cement

Dental cement is crucial to many dental restorations, such as fillings and crowns. While it is designed to withstand the stresses of daily use, there are steps you can take to prolong its longevity. First and foremost, it's important to avoid harmful habits that can put excessive force on the cement, such as biting hard objects or using your teeth as tools. In addition, good oral hygiene practices are essential to maintaining the integrity of the adhesive dental and preventing decay in the surrounding teeth. This includes brushing at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth, and limiting sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings are also vital for catching any potential issues early and ensuring the long-term health of your teeth and gums. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your dental restorations last for years and maintain optimal oral health.


Permanent dental cement provides long-lasting stability and strength to dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and veneers. While the exact lifespan can vary depending on factors such as oral hygiene, biting forces, and individual circumstances, permanent dental cement can typically last for many years, ranging from 10 to 20 years or even longer, with proper care. However, it is important to note that dental cement can still experience wear and potential issues over time, so regular dental checkups are crucial to ensure the longevity and functionality of dental restorations.